Murder 2 – review
Its the seasons of sequels, although most of the squels oflate has been disappointing. Mahesh Bhatt presensts the sequel to the 2004 blockbuster Murder. If Murder was hot, Murder 2 is much more hotter and steamier but.. well before I reaveal that let me tell you few other things. In this second outing, the movie gets an entire new team with a new director calling shots, a new plot having nothing to do with the Murder 1 and an entirely new star cast barring the main lead Emraan Hashmi.
This racy erotic thriller is set in Goa is loosely inspired by the Korean film The Chaser. Arjun Bhagawat (Emraan Hashmi) an ex-cop and now a drug peddler is approached by a pimp whose girls on pay roll goes missing. It turns out that there is a serial killer on a prowl. While trying to crack the mystery, Arjun asks the pimp to send another girl, if one particular suspect calls again, so that they can lure him and catch. Uknowing to Arjun, a college studying girl, who is lured into prostitution for money in a desperate move to give a good life to her family, is send to the customer. Later when he comes to know, he admonishes the pimp for playing with the life of a teen and is desperate to save her. But things turn more darker and grimmer when the serial killer turns out to be a neurotic serial killer. On a side track, Arjun has an affair with a model (Jacqueline fernandez) wh0 also gets into the attention of the psychopath.
The Murder 2 is good in patches, the first half is edgier and steamier and keeps you on a hook. Though in the second half, the director looses the plot and the story become more predictable and lackluster but the climax gets better. If Murder 2 manages to hold attention, it is not the steamy scenes or Emraan Haashmi but villain of the movie potrayed adeptly by Prashant Narayanan. Its been a long time Bollywood saw a villain taking honours of a movie and Prashant is chillingly brilliant in his role. Yes, Emraan Hashmi and Jacqueline takes the definition of steamier to an erotic high for Bollywood standards but the scenes lack chemistry and it is more like a steamy condomn ad. Even their own stories does not strike an emotional chord. Sulagna Panigrahi, as Reshma, the college girl makes an impression too.
GingerChai Verdict: Murder 2 may not be upto the mark of Murder but the movie is definitely edgier in parts and watchable. Atleast for Prashant Narayan’s brilliant performance, you can give it a watch. Go with low expectation, you will be thrilled.
Delhi Belly – review
When it comes to movies, Aamir Khan knows how to gather the moss. People may hate it, love it, loathe it or hum it but the song “Bhaag DK Bose” did gathered the required hype for the Aamir Khan’s home production directed by Abhinay Deo and written by new comer Akshat Verma. The song also was a preview of how the movie would be – quirky, raw, starkly funny and outrageous but equally enjoyable.
The story is simple and straight. 3 messy, lazy, careless, crazy friends living in a messy bachelor pad gets into a diamond mix up situation and finds themselves chased by a gangster and how they extricate themselves from the knot. This one liner might be seemingly simple and seen umpteen times in many films but the treatment differs and that is what differentiates a movie from the rest.
Delhi Belly treats you differently. It is not for everyone. As much like the (in)famous song, the movie would also be either loathed or hated. Ofcoure one can safely say, it is sure to hit the sense and sensibilities of the most of the older generation. It is a far cry from the now regular Bollywood diet of Karan Johar style sweet romances and David Dhawan style comedies or even RGV’s treatment of movies. The expletives are as casual as a group of friends might swear within their circle, the dialogues as natural it can be without the gloss and niceties. When I said nicety, let me warn you don’t expect any nicety from the movie. It might hit you and the very lack of nicety also guffaws you, the crude jokes and sounds would make you laugh out loud right from your belly.
The movie takes the potty joke to the next level. It is almost an integral part of the entire movie. Kunal Roy Kapoor handles the potty and gassy part remarkably (nastily?!) well and he fits the role like a right commode (what an analogy?! Ok it’s the Delhi Belly effect on me) It would be unfair to the rest of the cast to say it is Imran Khan’s movie. It is not. The movie is a collective act and everyone deserves a pat. While Vir das was whacky best in the Jaa Chudail song. How could I forget Vijay Raaz. After a miniscule, almost forgettable and wasted role in Always Kabhi Kabhi, he has got enough space to flourish as gangster. As a ruthless gangster with a cool madness, he steals the show with an effortless, natural act laced with brilliance. Shenaz Treasury and Poorna Jagannathan are the two lead actress. While Shenaz has a light role as the lover of Imran, Poorna is the one who makes a better impression as his colleague, also gets two lip lock scenes with Imran, interestingly both the times in car.
The music of the movie is already chart toppers. In the movie, they are not forced upon us but mixed breezily into the plot. The much talked about Aamir Khan’s item song comes in the end. As Disco Fighter, Aamir spoofs Bollywood’s original disco dancer, Mithun da in a garish, outrageous makeup and costume and you might smile at his antics but for me the movie outshined the disco fighter. The movie does not need as such Aamir Khan’s item number; it is brilliant in its own way. Aamir, the producer could be proud of this fact.
GingerChai verdict: Like the song “Bhaag DK Bose” some of you might loathe it while the rest might like it. Personally I liked it and most of the crowd seems to love it too. If you liked the song, the chances are you would definitely like the movie too. The movie is on your face, unabashed, brazen entertainer, nasty and with no pretention to be nice but makes you laugh out loud right from your belly. Watch it with your friends or even alone coz most of our parents might not be comfortable watching together.
Shaitan – review
Let’s make it clear. Shaitan is not a horror movie rather this Shaitan brings out the inner devil within a group of aimless, reckless and rich youngsters from dysfunctional family background, who party hard, live easy and stay afloat on dope that leads them into a quagmire of one crime after another.
Amy (Kalki Koechlin) , who has had a disturbed childhood witnessing the suicide of her mom returns to India with her father, now as a disturbed teen. In India she acquaints a group of rich kids, again from a set of dysfunctional homes, who introduces her to the world of drugs, sex and night life. One wild night in a speeding Hummer car changes the course of their life. It leads to crime, blood, kidnap plot that goes wrong and more blood. It’s the essence of the story which has been brilliantly directed by debutant director Bijoy Nambiar with a fantastic cinematography and music to accompany.
Everything about the movie is almost original and refreshing and it’s been quiet a long time Bollywood offered us such a riveting, original thriller with stellar performance by some not so popular star casts. I don’t see anybody would be so befitting for the role of Amy other than Kalki. Everything is so perfect about her for the character. Take a bow Bijoy for the star cast and bringing out the best of them.
The slick editing and cinematography along with the music perfects the movie. Cinematography by Madhie takes different hues, shades and angles depends on the mood of the story and the editing by Sreekar cuts, jumps and turns the events and maintains the grip throughout to engage us. The car chase, crash and the chase sequences were splendidly shot. The shootout and chase sequence with the remix techno version of old movie song “Khoya Khoya Chand” is simply innovative and brilliantly shot and made. The music credit goes to Prashant Pillai, Amar Mohile, Ranjit Barot and Anupam Roy.
If there is one let down in the movie it is the soft and subtle husband-wife off track story of the Inspector Arvind Mathur (Rajiv Khandelwal). I felt it is unwanted and could have been done away with or else bit paced up.
Welcome to Bollywood Bijoy, job well done. Take a bow. If I have to find some fault line, it could be with the screenplay which could have been handled bit more tightly but I am not going to complaint since the overall product is a brilliant experience for a movie buff, fed with a diet of nonsensical movies oflate.
GingerChai Verdict: A movie that is worth all your money. Go for it.
Ragini MMS – review
A weekend masti that goes scarily wrong. For a regular horror flick watchers, it is a time tested plot. Ekta Kapoor’s movie (yes, this is a producer’s child rather than the directors and very few producers can claim such a tag) picks over the masti from her previous outing Love, Sex and Dhoka blends it in the horror mixer, making of which is influenced largely by the English flick paranormal activity.
So it is a back to back haunted Friday releases. If last week Haunted tried to scare us (did it?), this Friday the 13th, Ragini MMS flaunts scares us with its sleaze and eeriness.
When Udhay (Raj kumar) and Ragini (Kainaz Motivala) arrive at the desolate farm house, the setting is a predictable and picture perfect for a horror flick. We know it is going to be a haunted place and we know the ghost is lurching somewhere there. While Udhay has his own plans to secretly sex-tape their love making to sell it for profit, the ghost in the house has its own plans!
Both Raj kumar and Kainaz fits their role to the blood T. Kainaz as a cute, city-bred English speaking, unsuspecting, sexually active girl friend while Raj as a restless, conniving boyfriend are very convincing both as a daring couple “raring” for their weekend secret fun as well as when their fun turns to a nightmare.
But the good points of the movie are not that much either. Yes, the movie has its own share of eeriness and can send some chillness through your bones but unfortunately the movie is quiet a plain jane horror. It lacks a sub plot and it lacks direction. The initial portions of the movie would remind you of dozen sleazy Hollywood horror flicks you would have seen earlier, where sex and lust is the precursor to the arrival of the ghost. The MMS in the title is just to justify the trigger jarring constant shaking of camera mode style cinematography coz our lead guy is trigger camera happy but that itself does not have much to offer in the movie as such. For the title Ragini MMS, I would have loved a serious movie on the subjects of MMS scandal sans the ghosts. The good thing is as any good horror movie should be it has some controlled, silent movements to scare you but also the bad thing is that you almost know it too. But hey, inspite of what other critics might say, it would definitely scare an ordinary movie-goer to some extend. The unconvincing part though is the climax – seems like the director went completely blank of his scary wits.
Ok, let’s me end the review with a sleazy cheesy thought that haunts pops after watching the movie: “If you want to have fun, have fun at home – don’t risk in an desolate unknown place”
GingerChai verdict: Sleazy, horror flick not entirely bad either. Ok, I did not say good either.
Haunted – review
Vikram Bhatt and RGV tirelessly love to haunt us with their horror movies. After RGV’s outing with Phoonk 2 , now its turn of Vikram to try scare us. And hey, this time he has set the ghosts on us on stereoscopic 3D format. Haunted announces itself as India’s first stereoscopic 3D horror film. But I found it rather a horror-comedy.
Mimoh, the son of Mithun da, has now rechristened himself as Mahakshay Chakraborty, though a stint in acting school would have been a better option than changing name. So Rehan (Mahakshay) , a US returned MBA from Stanford university arrives at a palatial, century old house, Eden Manor, in a hill station to facilitate the sales of the house. Upon arrival, he is told the house is haunted. Brave that he is, he rubbishes and drives into the house all alone. Now you know what to expect in a horror movie. Yes, the customary ingredients like the screeching doors, screams, lights on and off, moving chairs, music follows. I am not going to say much into it as you would have almost be prepared for what would be in store. The ghost pushes down a book which reveals a letter she wrote 80 years back just before her suicide. It reveals the ghost ki kahani.
80 years back, Meera, a young girl of the house played by Tia Bajpai kills her pedophilic music teacher, Iyer (played by Arif Zakaria) while he attempts to molest her. The ghost of Iyer haunts her for next 6 days, killing the rest of the household and finally raping Meera. (Yes, rapist ghost!) Meera commits suicide. The Iyer ghost further locks up the ghost of Meera and repeatedly tortures and rapes her since then (Yes, don’t faint a ghost raping another ghost!) So Rehan is determined to free Meera’s ghost from the evil Iyer ghost and how he does? He flies back into time with the help of a chillum smoking Sufi Baba in suit and pants! Now this is some imagination, isn’t it ?!
I found the horror story quiet amusing and thanks to the 3D effect there are few scenes, even if it is quiet predictable, that pushes you back to the seat (or to the edge of the seat, whatever) The ghost reminds us of the faces right from the decades old movies like Evil dead and in the climax even does a flying stunts inspired by Crouching Tiger, Hidden dragon *sighs*
Thought of the day: Wonder why only bad ghosts have a menacing look while good ghosts are sweet looking!
GingerChai verdict: A horror movie that actually ends up a comedy-horror. Yes there are few predictable moments that assure you it is indeed horror movie and it is bit entertaining if you go watch it as a comedy-horror (spoof) genre. If you plan to watch it, then watch it on 3D format that would be the only saving grace.
Night by Elie Wiesel
A Night To Remember
‘Night‘ by Elie Wiesel is not a book for the faint hearted or for those looking for a casual read. The book maybe thin but don’t judge it by the size. Its profound impact on the reader goes beyond its volume.
The book deals with the Holocaust-one of the brutal genocides in 20th century. Wiesel was just a teenager living in a nondescript town of Sighet in Transylvania when the Nazi troops came and bullied all the Jews into ghettos and eventually the concentration camp. Wiesel was separated from his mother and sisters and had only his father along with him.
‘Night‘ is a heart wrenching autobiographical account of Wiesel’s own horrifying experience in several concentration camps-from Buna to Auschwitz and eventually to Buchenwlad. It talks of unimaginable horrors that Wiesel himself suffered and saw all around him, being meted out to countless Jews in the camps. It records Wiesel’s own struggles, his gradual disillusionment in God, his numbness towards all the suffering around him, his love and support for his father and the eventual disappearance of that support, of innocence and the appearance of a self centered thinking that was sowed by the brutality he witnessed in the camps.
The reader sees the transformation that Wiesel went through and how life in the concentration camps made animals out of humans, how it sapped the hope of the most optimistic person and sapped the most devout person of his faith.
Page after page will make the reader cringe, force him/her to feel the pain, ponder on how anyone could survive such colossal pain, ponder on how such a mass genocide was allowed to take place. Hopefully the book will etch the story in the reader’s mind forever so that they never forget-Wiesel’s aim in writing this book in the first place. Hopefully, readers will remember the Holocaust, because as Wiesel puts it,”to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.”(pg. XV,’Night‘ by Elie Wiesel,Hill and Wang Publication, First Edition,2006).
Moreover, what I hope the readers will take away from this book, is that we, as readers, should intervene if and when such genocides happen because Holocaust is by no means the last such genocide. They keep happening and continue even in the 21st century-the so called progressive age. It is imperative that we learn from history, from one man’s ordeal that such horrors must never be allowed to happen because that strip humans of the humanity that we are all entitled to.
Thank You – review
If you liked Aneez Basmee’s No Problem, time to say Thank You.
Men are dogs and women are ever faithful – This is the one liner of the movie that has been woven into a brain dead comic script and which sadly entertains you too partially. Wonder why I mentioned sadly? Sad coz the comic element of our movies has stooped so low that even a slightly better dim wit comedy starts appealing. May be we are seriously carving for quality comedy movies.
Vikram (Irfan Khan), Raj (Bobby deol) and Yogi (Suniel Shetty) are thick friends, business partners and cheating mates who in spite of happily married to beautiful women are perpetually in heat and having affairs. Yogi’s dominant wife Radha (Celina Jaitley) introduces Kishen (Akshay Kumar) , a Sauvé, charming Akshay Kumar to Sanjana (Sonam Kapoor) when Sanajan suspects her husband of having an affair. The cat and mouse game begins with Kishen trying to catch the husbands during their sexcapades’ and Vikram masterminding their way out and finally Kishen reuniting the couples of course with the customary filmy dialogues of moral speak.
Among the three ladies, Rimi Sen stands out , while Sonam Kapoor cuts a sorry figure while Celina is miserable. Among the men Irfan Khan brings some respect to the nonsense story while Akshay does his part with restraint and charm. But boy, he badly needs a rock solid hit with a good story line else his star status is sure to nose dive into pits. In the multiplex I watched the first day; first show the movie attracted a dozen people. Hardly inspiring for a star’s home release.
The movie is shot entirely in Canada and is visually appealing. Music by Pritam is uninspiring. Malika Sherawat does an item number for the song Razia and is easily forgotten.
GingerChai verdict: A silly movie that you can watch only for Akshay , Irfan and Rimi Sen. If only Aneez has cared for sensible script and not relied on voluptuous bodies and brain dead, slapstick comedy, we could have told him a Thank you but alas it is not to be. With IPL entertainment started, you do have a choice but If you find cricket an over doze, you can watch once.
Game – review
Game is a whodunit movie that is visually appealing, stylishly made but it is like watching a cricket game between Canada and Netherland in Lord’s cricket ground. Now you can picture it!
A billionaire (Anupam Kher) invites four strangers from different parts of the world to his beautiful Island in Greece. That brings together into the plot a stylish casino owner from Istanbul (Abhishek Bachchan) , an ambitious PM in making politician from Bangkok (Bomman Irani) , a Film star from Mumbai (Jimmy Sherjil) and a crime journalist (Sahana Goswami). They land up in the remote Island and realize they have not exactly been invited for a friendly cup of chai. The billionaire has revenge in mind and has set a game but soon he himself is found murdered and the real game begins. That brings into the game, the super stylish cop, Sia Agnihotri (Kangana Ranaut) who belongs to an obscure International Vigilance Squad (or is it service?! Whatever does it matter) so the game is set for suspicion, revenge, twists and turns and the whodunit puzzle!
It is supposed to have all those entertaining mystery thriller ingredients but unfortunately the movie ends up a damp squib.
Yes, the island somewhere in Greece is a picturesque; the locale of Istanbul especially the chase sequence makes up a visual treat. Also, the costumes of Kangana, Gauhar Khan (who comes as secretary of the billionaire) and AB Jr are tastefully done to add to the richness of the visual impact but then the freshness ends there, leaving the script as stale and pain.
This could very well be yet another AB Jr’s flop movie. Debutant director Abhinay Deo has made a stylish movie with no substance. He should understand only looks don’t impress the audience. If we want to see the locales we can very well watch Travel and leisure channels. Music by Shankar Ehsan Loy is uninspiring.
GingerChai verdict: Game – a whodunit movie that makes us wonder why do it?! (The movie)
GORA by Rabindranath Tagore
“Today I am Bharatiya. Within me there is no conflict between communities, whether Hindu, Muslim or Krishtan. Today all the castes of Bharat are my caste…” is the ultimate realization that strikes Gora, the central character of Tagore’s novel by the same name. Sadly, even after a century past this novel, how far-fetching such an understanding within us seems!
Gora is the largest and the most complex of the 12 novels written by Rabindranath Tagore. Undoubtedly a classic, this epic debates a number of issues and concerns that seem contemporary even today and easily applicable to the current scenario of our country. This book is a reflection and analysis of the multifarious social life in colonial India. It is about variations in one’s own beliefs as a result of changing times, society and its manifold influences on the people, their thinking, ideologies and philosophies, and in the process, an overall transformation seen and sensed within an individual and the society in general.
Gora is a story set in the disruptive times when the Bengali society in Kolikata (Calcutta) was starkly divided into the traditional orthodox Hindus and the modernized liberal thinking Brahmos – indoctrinated by the Brahma Samaj. The Hindus unfailingly followed and took pride in their renascent practices and ceremonials while the Brahmos were in constant clashes with orthodoxy and vehemently opposed all idol-worship, caste system etc. Yet both communities were not devoid of their own hypocrisies, contradictions and flaws. These were also the times when the English education had become more acceptable across the society and the intellectual awareness amongst the the youth was at rise.
Pitted against such a social background are numerous characters each of which is unique and strongly individualistic. In fact, it’s through these various characters and their stories that Tagore looms upon almost every single concern of the society mainly the religious narrow-mindedness. Hence the novel is woven with several sub-plots, intermediary stories and events which, though sometime seem to meander away from the main theme, add on to the beauty of the story.
Gora, the protagonist, is a strong advocate of Hinduism and practices his religion with high regards, thorough conviction and strict austerity. He is a natural leader with exemplary oratory skills, fair and tall stature and a resonating voice. However, his forthrightness and impelling attitude make him seem an arrogant, self-asserting, violent person who thrusts his opinions unto others. But Gora at heart is an eternal optimist dreaming about his ideal Bharatvarsha, a prosperous and happy India, which according to him is achieved by uniting all classes under the large umbrella of Hinduism. As a person he is highly patriotic and sympathetic – cannot stand injustice and high-society atrocities over poor and the downtrodden.
His denial of his newly developed feelings for Sucharita and then the slow dawning of role of women in his dream country Bharatvarsha, his hurt when he learns about Binoy’s inclination towards Brahmos, his shock upon knowing the facts relating to his birth, then his aversion to religion/ caste system and his final repentance for forsaking his mother’s feelings in his pursuit have all been beautifully brought forth. This particular character has been etched so very well that you love and hate him both at the same time or constantly keep oscillating between the feelings of repugnance and appreciation.
Binoy, the best friend of Gora, is on the other hand a soft spoken, easily convincible and compassionate gentleman who initially comes across as a mere shadow of Gora but, in subsequent development, emerges as more genuine and self-analyzing. A golden-hearted person with high conscience, who cannot intentionally hurt anyone or refuse anything, is in constant dilemma about rights and wrongs. This is the character with which most of us can identify ourselves. He symbolizes the uncertainty that we undergo in our lives at various stages. He is also the reflection of the contradictions and ceaseless conflicts within us, between the heart and the brain, selfishness and humanity, good and the bad.
The story takes shape when these 2 Hindu boys come in contact with Poresh Babu, a mature and high thinking gentleman, and his family who represent the other facet of society, the Brahmos. They have adopted a more open-minded life style where even the ladies of the house have equal prominence. Sucharita and Lolita are the heroines who are educated and with their own point of view in life. The latter character is much ahead of her times and during the course of the story undergoes transition from a confused, guilt-ridden meek girl to a brave realistic person who has no hesitation about accepting her feelings for Binoy. Sucharita on the other hand maintains her demeanor throughout even while undergoing an agitation within herself for being attracted to an opposite mindset personality, Gora.
Tagore here voices a strong protest against alienating women from the main stream by lending them devotional status of goddess or mother. His heroines are full-blooded normal human beings having their emotions, feelings and responsibility towards society. The ladies are characterized as strong individuals with independent thinking and self-confidence.
There are many other interesting characters like Anandmoyi - has no religious affinities, believes in one God and is symbolic of Mother India; Baradasundari and Haran Babu – relentless Brahmos; Krishnadayal and Harimohini – fanatic Hindus; Mohim and Abinash – the hypocritical part of the society. Each of these characters in its own way contributes and justifies the status of society.
At times the book leaves you confused, unsure and drained yet no questions raised seem inappropriate or irrelevant. The story line is not preachy or advocating any principle instead full of debates, arguments, contemplation and musings that may be interpreted in various ways. There is no definite conclusion thrust upon the reader, rather it keeps you thinking about virtues of your ownself, your religion and the rectitude with which you follow what you perceive is right. Even the end is not definitive but only a new beginning of the concept of secularism.
Corporate Atyaachaar by Abhay Nagarajan
So you are in the final year of college and awaiting campus interview? And then the day comes and you got recruited after a teaser of an interview. Your days have arrived. You proudly join the company and then you realize reality could be quiet different. Nevertheless, the journey of reality could enrich you with valuable experiences to build the foundation for the future. Corporate Atyaachaar is one such journey of a twenty four year old financial advisor, freshly recruited from campus interview and posted in a new city where his new journey begins.
The protagonist, the young freshly minted financial advisor, lands up in Bangalore to join his first company, Wealth Capital Advisors with full of dreams and energy only to learn the non-financial sides of his Boss , The Human Ball Scratcher the very first day. Yes, that is how the author has chosen to nick-name him for some obvious reasons and the other colleague is nick named Sweet Lady. This three along with an office assistant and driver comprises the Bangalore team nested in a pigeon hole sized office. The story takes you to their journey in one eventful year that saw the stock market euphoria of 2007 and the subsequent market crash of 2008 and the High Net worth Individual clients the young financial advisor meets in his first year of work – an old business man, an inflated ego man, tough speaking ex-wall street banker, a CFO and a truly happy family man.
To be honest, the book is just a gist of one year of the protagonist first year at job. A quick summary told in a comical way of his one year at work and the clients he met. Stay clear, if you are allergic to finance and stock markets even if laced with comedy. Also I am not sure to call it a plus or minus point, there is no romance angle in the story, except for the love of stock bulls and bears. In that sense, the author deserves a mild pat for not getting tempted to introduce a love story into an otherwise a treaded path.
GingerChai Verdict: Of late, the racks of the book houses are filled with a genre of novels that is typically low priced (read under 100 bucks) and light on subject. The authors and the publishers make no pretence of selling a highly literary content but a very casual, time pass read while munching snacks or on a go. It is like our Indian masala flicks. Some movies are super hits, some average and some flops but new movies continue to hit theatre. Some make it big like Chetan while some goes unheard. Corporate Attyaachaar belongs to this school of Indian masala novel. It is average, don’t boast an arty treatment, has a mild comedy elements thrown in. Some may like it for one time; some may not but for Rs.100 (you get it for a further discounted price in some online shops) it won’t hurt your pocket much for a casual read.
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